In response to the ongoing government shutdown, multiple orchestras are offering free tickets to furloughed federal employees. The orchestras are taking a variety of approaches: some are offering free tickets for a performance on a specific date, others are making free tickets available for concerts during a limited period, and others are making free tickets available through the end of the season. Though the number of tickets available per person varies, all orchestras require a government-issued ID when picking up the free tickets.

As of the morning of Friday, January 18, Hub editors have received announcements concerning free tickets for furloughed federal government employees from the following orchestras: Akron Symphony Orchestra (OH), Bangor Symphony Orchestra (ME), Boston Symphony Orchestra (MA), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (TX), Des Moines Symphony (IA), Erie Philharmonic (PA), Florida Orchestra (St. Petersburg), Georgia Symphony (Marietta, GA), Grand Rapids Symphony (MI), Hartford Symphony Orchestra (CT), Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic (FL), Philly Pops (PA), Richmond Symphony (VA), Seattle Symphony (WA), Spokane Symphony (WA), and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (FL).

In a press release, Georgia Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Susan Stensland said, “As an organization that is deeply rooted in our community, we are happy to be able to extend this invitation to those who are experiencing hardship at this time.” Announcing the free tickets for furloughed government employees, Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns stated, “Minnesota Orchestra horn player Herb Winslow suggested this idea, and we all loved it. Music has the power to ease burden a little bit, and we invite federal employees to join us for an upcoming concert.”

Posted January 18, 2019